Capitals vs. Lightning Preview: March 30, 2019

Photo Credit: Washington Capitals

The Caps just clinched a playoff spot after the win in Carolina on Thursday. They now have 100 points and a 46-24-8 record, clinching a playoff spot for the eleventh season out of the last twelve. Alex Ovechkin needs one more goal to clear 50 on the season and secure his eighth Rocket Richard Trophy. The Bolts, though, are having a historic season. Their 122 points so far is the sixth most all time for any NHL team, and their 59-14-4 record looks intimidating, though regular season success does not always translate in the playoffs. The 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks were the last team to win both the President’s Trophy and the Stanley Cup in a lockout shortened season.

The Washington Capitals will journey to Florida to face the Tampa Bay Lightning for the final meeting this season. The two hottest teams in the Eastern Conference are looking to make more ground on each other and stay hot as the playoffs loom. What could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals, looks to be great hockey once more in the regular season finale. This also marks their third meeting this month.

Injuries are a problem for both teams heading into tonight’s game. Caps Defenseman, Michal Kempny, took a nasty hit against the Lightning in their last meeting. He is still out for the rest of the season and likely for the playoffs. However, the Lightning are not quite at full strength either. Defensemen Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi both have reported injuries, though there is a chance they may be ready for the playoffs. Either way, this game will feature two short-handed teams looking to keep momentum for the last few games this season.

The Lightning won both regular season contests this season. The first was a 5-3 showing in Tampa on March 16. After was a 5-4 overtime game at Capital One Arena on March 20, which saw the Caps make a franchise record 56 shots on goal. With all the close contests and gridlocks between the teams, this game looks to be great theater as well.

Starting Lineups:

For Washington:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson

Vrana-Kuznetsov-Oshie

Hagelin-Eller-Connolly

Burakovsky-Stephenson-Boyd

Djoos-Carlson

Orlov-Niskanen

Orpik-Jensen

Holtby in the net.

For Tampa Bay:

Palat-Stamkos-Miller

Bronson-Point-Kucherov

Killorn-Cirelli-Joseph

Erne-Paquette-Gourde

Hedman-Sergachev

McDonagh-Cernak

Coburn-Rutta

Vasilevsky at the goalie position.

The game is at Amalie Arena. Puck drops at 7:00 p.m.

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